Saturday, April 25, 2009

I'm a "Mac-hole".

Graham went to Illinois College...

I went to Mac....
No big deal, except when you consider that the two colleges are just about a mile apart from one another (maybe 2) in the same small town and are small, 4-year, liberal arts colleges serving the greater West Central Illinois area. Or, in Chi-town terms, they're both small schools sitting in a cornfield a half-day's drive from Chicago.

We had great experiences as undergrads. Graham fell in love with the Education Department at IC because of all the hands-on experience he knew he'd receive, and I drooled looking at Mac's course catalog and saw all the literature and English classes they offered. English Lit from 1865 to the Post-Modern Era? Sign me up!

While we went to school in the same town, we didn't see one another except on weekends, or when I would go visit Graham in the Writing Center at IC. Being close gave us someone to lean on in case of emergencies, gave us someone to hang out with, and allowed us to go on more dates than we would have had either of us attended school further south or north, or out of state. It also gave us the opportunity to have a social life beyond always "hanging out with my boyfriend/girlfriend."

The only real issues that arose for us in attending college right down the street from one another was that the schools are major rivals. Basketball and soccer games could get downright dirty, and I remember one baseball game between the two schools that actually ended up with punches being thrown. There's been a long standing rivalry between both colleges that lingers even after students graduate. After you've got your degree it's no longer important who won the Mayor's Cup game (an annual soccer game in which the winning team wins a trophy) but you've still got a decent amount of pride in your alma mater.

Last night, we attended an alumni gathering for Chicago-area IC alums. It was held at D4, an Irish pub downtown. I had never attended an alumni event for anything, not even high school. Because it was free (free food and one free drink! Woo!!!) we decided to go and see if there was anyone in attendance we might know.

While there wasn't anyone there that we knew, we did make some new friends. We spent some time chatting it up with a school psychologist who was there with her boyfriend. It was nice to talk to someone else "in the business", and for me it was nice to talk with someone who felt just as out of place as I did. We also talked with a few IC staff members, one of whom gave me a little crap for attending Mac, but other than that he was pretty cool.

We also got small buttons that have this logo on them:

I guess it's their new admissions and alumni logo....something to do with the "true colors" of the college and the kids they recruit, or some business. I pinned mine to my purse and gave it to Graham later on. Not that I'm not "true blue", but I prefer the scarlet and plaid of MacMurray.

It was a fun evening, and we've found a place to eat lunch next time we want to avoid the craziness of Navy Pier but still eat lunch downtown for more money than we'd pay on the south side. It was good for Graham to reconnect with people who have similar experiences and 4 years at the same school in common. A few years from now we might find ourselves attending alumni events with Mary! Hmm, I'm going to need to drag Graham to a Mac event. Brian? Robyn? You guys up for some alumni-ing sometime soon?

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